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August 2014

Arctic University warms classrooms with waste datacentre heat

Aiming to run the greenest datacentre in the world in one of the greenest countries on the planet – 98% of Norwegian power comes from renewable sources – the IT team at the Arctic University of Norway in Tromso is set to tap even more of the excess heat generated by its datacentre to warm the university's campus 350km within the Arctic Circle. “Tromso is 70° north and this means we need heating almost all year round, including in July,” said Roy Dragseth, team leader for high-performance computing (HPC) at the university. According to the IT team, water-cooled IT systems are much more efficient than air-cooled technologies in capturing datacentre heat. “Liquid cooling is much more efficient than air-cooling as water is 1,000 times better at transporting heat,” Dragseth said. The university currently has datacentre systems that are only partially water-cooled or fully air-cooled. But as it is moving to a newer datacentre in a few months, Dragseth aims to bring more water-cooling into the datacentre power mix. “Eventually, we want...

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